Five Good Mood Foods

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Try and include these 5 different foods in your diet. They all work to help improve your mood and make you feel happier long-term!

What You'll Need

  • Butternut squash seeds
  • Spices such as Turmeric and saffron
  • Walnuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Kefir

What You'll Do

  • Butternut squash seeds: Often thrown away but really shouldn’t be as they are a nutritional goldmine for the mind! They are a source of tryptophan, which converts to serotonin, our happy hormone. Scrape them out of the squash and roast them with a little oil for 15 minutes and then sprinkle over salads.
  • Spices such as Turmeric and saffron: There is a lot of research going on into the impact of too much inflammation on the brain. And it seems that for some people this may play a part in their mental illness. This is one of the reasons why I love to cook with turmeric and also use saffron where possible. Its anti-inflammatory properties in the body are well documented. Some research even shows how it may help reduce depressive tendencies.
  • Walnuts: We always hear about salmon and other oily fish being important for the brain and they really are. But you can also get omega3 fats from nuts and seeds. Walnuts are an especially good source, as are hempseeds and flaxseeds. But don’t overheat them, as the omega 3 fats can be destroyed. You’re better off sprinkling onto salads, breakfasts, or whizzing up with papaya, avocado and almond milk.
  • Green leafy vegetables: These are naturally rich in magnesium, a nutrient that is essential for good mental health and especially important for those suffering with stress and anxiety. Magnesium can help to improve our resilience to stress by supporting the adrenal glands, which can be relied upon heavily for the average person living a fast paced life in the city – working hard, exercising and travelling.
  • Kefir: We are learning more and more about the links between the digestive system and the brain, so much so that this is now being referred to as our second brain. Good bacteria is key for healthy digestion. Some research has even shown boosting the levels of this in the large intestine may support our mood, reduce anxiety and even reduce cortisol levels (our stress hormone). Kefir, which is a type of fermented milk, is great way to boost good bacteria. Yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchee and miso paste are also good. But for those who suffer with IBS, speak to a nutritionist first before introducing these.
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